Prison Preservation (2014)

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Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1971, 142 years after it admitted its first prisoner, Eastern State Penitentiary was closed and sat vacant. The City of Philadelphia purchased the property in 1980 and in 1994 The Pennsylvania Prison Society opened the penitentiary for the first season of regular guided interpretative tours. Here we see a stabilized section of the prison cellblocks.

Tomorrow we begin exploring a new location; the infamous Pennhurst State School.

Nikon D700 FX with 20mm F2.8 Nikkor

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Push My (Death Row) Buttons (2014)

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Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The door release controls for cells on Eastern Penitentiary’s death row. Cellblock 15 (death row) was the last section of the prison built and while nobody was ever executed at Eastern, this area housed some of the most violent of prisoners away from the general population.

Nikon D700 FX with 28 – 85mm F3.5 Nikkor

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View from the Table (2014)

 

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Eastern, unlike most prisons of the day, had its own operating room within the penitentiary walls. In addition to electric lighting, the room had a ceiling which allowed natural light to illuminate the patient on the operating table.

Nikon D700 FX with 20mm F2.8 Nikkor

http://inadifferentlightbook.wordpress.com/

Mopping Up Crime (2014)

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Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Along one of the many hallways at Eastern was this row of mops – probably at one time one for each spot in the rack, so that the guards could tell if any were missing.

Nikon D700 FX with 20mm F2.8 Nikkor

http://inadifferentlightbook.wordpress.com/

Isolation (2014)

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Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The reform method of this prison was a Quaker-inspired system of isolation from other prisoners. So strict was this policy of isolation, that to prevent distraction, knowledge of the building, and even mild interaction with guards, inmates were hooded whenever they were outside their cells. Even the 1 meter tall doors to the cell were solid, allowing no views of the hallway or cellblock.

Nikon D700 FX with 20mm F2.8 Nikkor

http://inadifferentlightbook.wordpress.com/

All the Modern Conveniences (2014)

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Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cell accommodations were advanced for their time, including a faucet with running water and curved pipes along part of one wall which served as central heating during the winter months. Toilets were remotely flushed twice a week by the guards of the cellblock.

Nikon D700 FX with 20mm F2.8 Nikkor

http://inadifferentlightbook.wordpress.com/